• A'ns , /iiru/vri42/
Digitized by the Internet Archive
No. 69 May, 1%3
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
Hon. A. Kelso Roberts, Q.C. F.A. MacDougall
Minister Deputy Minister
These Reports are for Intra-Departmental Information
and Not for Publication)
No. 69 May, 1963
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
Hon. A. Kelso Roberts, Q.C. F.A. MacDougall
Minister Deputy Minister
These Reports are for Intra-Departmental Information
and Not for Publication)
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
No. 69 May, 1963
Some Aspects of Upland Management in Cochrane
District. - by D 9 L. Hagar
The Woodcock in the Parry Sound Forest District
of Ontario - A Progress Report, 1962
- by J. F. Leach 11
Report on Herbicide Application by Helicopter
for Conifer Release, Gogama District, 1961.
- by D. J. Shaw 26
The Beaver on Michipicoten Island.
- by E, A. Pozzo and A. B. Stephenson 32
Ruffed Grouse in the Geraldton District, 1962.
- by B. H. Gibson 44
Grouse Hunting in Parry Sound District, 1962.
- by C. A. Rettie 51
Hunting Methods Employed by Kublai Khan *s
Described by Marco Polo, 58
Present Problems in Commercial Fisheries Manage-
ment. - by W. Ko Re Werner 61
(THESE REPORTS ^RZ FOR INTERDEPARTMENTAL
INFORMATION ANIS HJfl t'OR PUBLICATION)
• ■ . . . ■
Some Aspects of Upland Management in Cochrane District
D. L. Hagar, Unit Forester
In view of the high growth potential of upland sites in
the Clay Belt section of the Boreal Forest Region, it is
important that forest production on these sites be maintained
at as high a level as possible.
In general, efforts to obtain adequate spruce regenera-
tion by regular or modified cutting methods or by applica-
tion of existing silvicultural techniques have failed. So
far planting in the Cochrane District has proved to be the
only successful means of rehabilitating these areas to spruce.
And here results have been good. Brush competition prior
to planting has been controlled at a cost of $6.00 per acre by
aerial spraying and at a cost of $5.26 per acre using bulldozers.
Planting upland sites averages $21.00 and subsequent brush control
between $6.90 and $10.00 per acre. About a million trees per
year are currently being planted on 1,000 acres on upland sites
in the Cochrane District. In order to take care of the entire
annual cut, the number would have to be increased to 5 million
SOME ASPECTS OF UPLAND MANAGEMENT
IN COCHRANE DISTRICT
This paper deals with the efforts made by the Timber Branch
in Cochrane District in maintaining and improving productivity on
the upland clay sites characteristic of the Clay Belt section of
the Boreal Forest Region, and the considerations which led to the
establishment of our present program
These sites have a high growth potential for the production
of forest products and are considered to be those sites with fair
to good drainage and upon which there is no significant accumula-
tion of organic material covering the mineral soil.
Cochrane District, as are the other northern districts, is
essentially a timber producing area with a high proportion of
district income derived from the production and conversion of
forest products. Besides being very productive these upland areas
are usually more readily accessible than the lowlands for carrying
out silvicultural work and are cheaper to log. Silvicultural
efforts on the uplands should therefore give a higher return per
dollar invested than on the less productive lowland sites. We
therefore consider it in the best interests of the Cochrane area
to ensure the maintenance of productivity on forest land and
particularly to ensure that the highly productive upland sites are
managed to produce as great a quantity of commercially exploitable
wood fibre as possible.
The problem of maintaining productivity on upland sites follow-
ing logging is one that Foresters have been aware of and concerned
with for a number of years. This problem is not peculiar to the
Clay Belt area alone but is a common problem on upland areas
throughout the Boreal Forest Region of Northern Ontario, partic-
ularly on the heavier soil types and are often referred to as the
mixedwood upland type.
It is generally agreed that the maintenance or improvement of
productivity of forest land is the prime objective of the field
Forester. This objective, however, must take into consideration
quality of production as well as quantity.
We are aware that existing cutting practices or logging
methods give little or no consideration to the future stand. The
quality of forest which develop" following logging is purely a
matter of chance. The practice of clear cutting and of cutting
only the more favoured conifers is considered to be the most
practical method of logging from an economic standpoint. Unfortun-
ately, by present day standards at least, this method has favoured
the formation and development of inferior stands on the upland
sites as the Spruce component of the next crop is greatly reduced.
Conditions favour the regeneration of Balsam Fir and hardwoods in
most instances. Field observations by various agencies confirm
Professor R. C. Hosie of the Faculty of Forestry, University of
Toronto, in his report on regeneration studies on the limits of
the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company Limited at Kapuskasing,
and what is now the Kimberley-Clark limits at Longlac, reported in
1946 that "on only a few of the cut over areas visited was the
Spruce content in the present forest composition noted to
approach a satisfactory quantity. On most of the areas the absence
of Spruce is very marked, particularly on the true clay soils"
Some instances of adequate Spruce regeneration was apparently
noted on the lighter soils. In the few ..nstances where Spruce was
found on clay soils they usually had developed on rotted logs and
stumps or sphagnum. On most of the areas examined and particularly
on the clay soils there are sizeable tracts that have neither spruce
nor balsam on them at present.
Regeneration surveys carried out over a period of three years
by the timber staff in Cochrane District indicate that 3>554 of
the 10,662 plots observed occurred on upland sites. Young conifers
(i.e.) spruce or balsam were found on as low as 15$ of the plots
on one surveyed area to as high as 84$ on another, the average
being 44$. In no instance did spruce occur as the dominant conifer
on more than 27$ of the plots observed on any one surveyed area --
the range being 5 to 27$ -- the average for all areas surveyed
being 10.8$. If we consider 60$ stocking adequate on these upland
sites we found that about 40$ of the surveyed area was stocked less
than 60$ to conifers, Howe-'-jr, even where stocking was in excess
of 60$ the spruce component was in most cases very low, the ratio
of Balsam to Spruce ranging from 3 to 1 to 15 to 1. Just what
proportion of this young conifer is advance growth is not known.
There is doubt in some Forester's minds that at least some of the
advance growth is of poor quality and may not develop into good
quality commercial timber. Evidence at hand therefore, confirms the
opinion that although Spruce represented a high proportion of the
original stand it will not be present to near the same degree
following cutting. Industry will have to rely heavily on Balsam
Fir for the next cut. Some companies may consider this prospect
acceptable but one large company in this general area feels that
the spruce component of future stands on upland sites should be
increased. Because of the susceptability of Balsam to Spruce
budworm attack and the possibility of future epidemics much of the
Balsam presently growing on the upland sites may not be available
for cutting at a future date. We are also aware that the cull
factor in Balsam is considerably higher than in the Spruce and is
therefore a less desirable species.
Further, in regards to quality, which is largely determined
by species, there appears to be three lines of opinion among
Foresters. Firstly, there is that group who feel that in the
Boreal Forest Region all efforts should be directed towards
obtaining the maximum production of spruce possible, within economic
reality, on sites capable of producing good spruce. Secondly, there
are those who feel that as long as stand development tends towards
a high percentage of the more useful coniferous species then this
- 4 -
should be adequate. Still a third group feel that the maximum
production of wood fibre possible, regardless of species, will be
acceptable. Just what percentage of Foresters would fall into each
of the aforementioned groups is not known. Which opinion will
prove correct will unfortunately not be known for some time. We
cannot foresee the future nor accurately predict trends in markets
and wood usage. Indeed any one of the three opinions could be
correct in certain locations or under some circumstances. It is
realized that technological progress in the development of pulping
techniques and other uses of wood fibre will no doubt occur, and
that species which are not utilized to any great extent at present
will become more acceptable to industry.
By present day standards, Spruce has the highest use value
of any species found in the Boreal Forest Region and we in this
District feel that until such time as the increased use value of
other species, particularly the hardwoods, is evident, Spruce
should be favoured in the management of the upland clay sites in
this area. Therefore, our objective in managing these sites will
be to maintain or improve productivity and favour the development
of Spruce to the degree where it will at least be a major component
of the future stand -- this to be done within the bounds of economic
We do not know how best to bring about an increase in Spruce
on the upland sites by methods other than planting. We are aware
that to obtain natural regeneration we require a source of seed,
suitable seedbed and adequate moisture at the right time. This
sounds simple but just how we can assist in economically providing
these requirements over the entire range of Spruce environment has
been under consideration for a number of years. Efforts to obtain
adequate Spruce regeneration on upland clay sites by modification
of logging methods, or by application of existing silvicultural
techniques, has been largely unsuccessful. We have often heard that
because all Spruce is usually removed in logging that there is no
seed available to regenerate the cut over. However, even where
seed bearing Spruce has been left, either intentionally or acciden-
tally, the amount to Spruce regeneration does not increase signi-
ficantly. The seed trees so left however, could supply seed in
the event of fire and could conceivably, if conditions were right,
seed in the area to Spruce. Because regeneration does not improve
to any marked degree when seed trees are present it would appear
that the seedbed is not suitable. Attempts to create a suitable
seedbed by scarification as near as I can determine, although it
shows some promise on lighter soils has not been encouraging on
the clays. Professor Hosie in his aforementioned report stated
that to maintain within the forest a suitable seedbed for Spruce
would require that very light cuttings be made and that large
material be felled and left on the ground to rot. Such logging
because of the small amount of timber removed and the extensive
road system required would be very expensive. It is apparent
therefore, that if we are to proceed with increasing the Spruce
component on the upland areas we must plant it. It is, we believe,
- 5 -
the least expensive and the surest method we have at our disposal
at the present time.
Therefore, in this District, our efforts to increase the
amount of Spruce on upland sites has been confined to planting.
In planning our stand improvement program on these upland sites
we realize that at some time in the future, as land use patterns
change, we may be competing with agricultural interests for land
in areas adjacent to existing settlement. These upland sites do
have an agricultural potential and it is reasonable to assume that
the demand for agricultural land will increase in future and any
expansion will take place in areas presently serviced by roads.
Just when increased demand for this land will occur is anyone^
guess. If we consider a rotation of the order of 80-100 years a
lot can happen in the meantime. We are therefore staying away
from the more settled areas hoping we have allowed enough leeway
for agricultural development within the foreseeable future.
Our efforts to date in planting the upland sites have been
directed towards those areas where the conifer content has been
low. In other words on those areas stocked 60fo or better to
conifers, we have left alone for the time being at least, even
though the spruce content may be low. This does not mean that
we are entirely happy with the Balsam fir, but we do feel that
attention should be given to the understocked areas first,
particularly because at present we have been treating only the
backlog areas .
We have three types of problem areas to deal with:
(a) Abandoned farms or areas supporting sparse brush cover.
(b) Cut over areas with or without mature hardwoods with a dense
cover of brush, and
(c) Cut over which has been followed by fire and now supporting
a dense stand of hardwoods or brush.
In the initial stages there was a tendency to plant a number
of areas in one year without too much regard for accessibility.
This was due in part to avoiding areas supporting a dense
restrictive cover and also due to inadequate planning.
These projects involved the construction and maintenance of
camp facilities. Co^ts ran about $35.00 per thousand trees
Problems encountered were those associated with most planting
projects and with which most of you are familiar, such as -- poor
quality of available labour; lack of qualified supervision;
inadequate field inspection prior to planting; failure to obtain
the quality of nursery stock requisitioned; uncertain delivery
schedules and so on. However, during the last couple of seasons
most of these problems have been overcome to some degree at least.
- 6 -
In regard to accessibility we are now concentrating our plan-
ting on more accessible sites which will cost less to treat. This
enables planters to commute to the planting area daily, and has
reduced our planting costs by $8.00 per thousand trees in compari-
son to operations where a camp was maintained. Further consolid-
ation of planting and associated stand improvement work is
contemplated now that compartmentation of our timber management
units is progressing. Our intention is to concentrate on one
extensive area at a time and build up a forest in an orderly manner
with the prospect of better control over its development.
As previously mentioned we stayed away from the sites
supporting heavy cover. However, since there are extensive acc-
essible areas of this type within commuting radius of Cochrane
and in order to utilize their productive potential we realize that
something in the way of site preparation would have to be done to
reduce this competition before planting and also to facilitate the
We first approached this problem by aerial spraying. Projects
were carried out in 1957 and 1958 respectively. Cost in each
instance was about $6.90 per acre. In one instance we did attain
a good kill. However, a rank growth of ground vegetation resulted
and there is now evidence of sprouting. In the other instance the
kill was inadequate. Furthermore, at about that time, aerial
spraying in the province was suspended pending investigation of
results of projects carried out to that time.
We then considered tackling this brush problem by mechanical
means, using bulldozers in the D-6 to D-8 range to clear parallel
corridors uniformly throughout the area to be treated. We would
subsequently plant the cleared strips and also underplant in the
cover adjacent to the strips where conditions permitted. Existing
road systems were used for control. Our first attempt at this
type of treatment was carried out at a spacing of 33 feet between
A D-8 bulldozer worked back and forth over the area with the
blade down and removed the brush and at the same time scarified to
mineral soil. Debris collected by the blade was dumped along the
edges of the cleared strip.
Cost of this treatment was $5.26 per gross acre. This prepar-
ation did facilitate planting on the cleared strips, but the
accumulation of debris along the edges prevented easy access to the
adjacent cover for underplanting. Subsequent projects were tried
at 22 ft. and 12 ft. intervals between strips at a cost of $9.37
and $11.51 per gross acre. respectively. While the decrease in the
interval between strips increased the plantable area the cost per
unit area increased considerably. There was also cause for concern
because we were removing some of the humus layer and topsoil
along with the brush cover. For these reasons we modified the
treatment by keeping the bulldozer blade raised 6 M to 12" above
the ground while breaking the strips. This had the effect of
breaking down the cover thus facilitating planting on the strip,
and at the same time allow easy access for planting the adjacent
cover without disturbing the soil to any great extent. This modif-
ication has been tried in both brush and poor quality second
growth poplar at a cost of $4.6l per gross acre.
We are planting these areas on a 6 x 6 spacing or as close as
we can come to it, and are averaging about 900-1000 trees per acre
at a cost of $21.00 per acre. Combined site preparation and
planting is therefore costing about $25.61 per gross acre.
This is as far as we have progressed in treating the upland
sites to the present time. There hasn't been sufficient time lapse
to assess the effects of this type of treatment. Planting success
has been good - about 80$ survival. We feel that some type of
release work will be necessary and if we can obtain this release
by aerial spraying it will cost us about $6.90 per acre. Total
cost will be $32.50 to $39.50 per acre depending on whether we have
to release once or twice. If we have to release by hand, although
we have no figures to go on, cost will probably be a little higher
perhaps in the neighbourhood of $10.00 per acre. The cost then
could be in the neighbourhood of $45.00 per acre if two releases
Where we are carrying out this treatment in second growth
hardwoods we can probably get away with one release at the time
when the branches of the hardwoods begin to interfere with the
Another factor has recently entered the picture where the
management of upland sites is concerned. With the construction
of Poplar Veneer Mills at Kirkland Lake, Ontario and LaSarr,
Quebec and the contemplated completion of a mill at Cochrane to
commence production next summer we find demand for poplar of
veneer quality is on the upswing. In this area poplar attains its
best development on the better drained upland sites and is
usually in mixture with spruce and balsam. The stature of this
particular species is on the increase and will have to be considered
in future plans for the management of upland sites in this area.
Therefore, when we encounter stands of good quality, second growth
poplar on upland sites we will not try and convert them to Spruce.
We intend to manage for veneer quality Poplar for the time being
at least. Poor quality second Poplar however, will be treated in
the same manner as brush.
Now to give you an idea as to just where we stand in our
upland management program we are at present planting about 1,000,000
Spruce per year on upland areas. This amounts to about 1000
acres of backlog area being treated annually. We estimate that
about 7*500 acres are being cut over each year on the upland clay
sites. These problem areas then are accumulating rapidly with
6,500 acres being added annually to the already extensive backlog.
To bring these areas back into useful production will require a
greatly expanded stand improvement program. In order to take care
of the annual cut over areas we would have to plant almost 5 million
more Spruce per year, this on the basis of 750 stems per acre
as per the report of the Committee of Standards of Regeneration
stocking. If we are to allow for mortality this figure should
perhaps be of the order of 1000 stems per acre and would mean
that we would have to plant an additional 6J million Spruce per
year to keep abreast of annual cut overs.
How to accomplish the restocking of Spruce on such a large
cut over area is a matter for consideration. The ideal approach,
if we are to rely entirely on planting, may be to plant current
cut overs within a year or two after logging. This may be a
reasonable approach to the problem for the following reasons:
Firstly these cut over areas in most instances will be more easily
accessible immediately after cutting before existing roads deter-
iorate. Secondly we can avoid the expense of site preparation
and probably some of the expense of release. Some Foresters may
not agree with this approach because regeneration surveys indicate
that approximately 60% of the upland may regenerate adequately to
conifer. However, if we are to press our advantage following
cutting we may not be able to determine what areas will be
adequately restocked to conifer. This shouldn't concern us too
much. Past experience indicates that the cut over will regenerate
to hardwood, brush, or if to conifer mainly to Balsam. Since our
objective is to favour Spruce, this approach tends towards attaining
From the economic standpoint however, we would be talking of
an expenditure somewhat about $200,000 to put the trees in place,
and this just to restock the upland cut overs on clay sites without
considering work on other problem sites and species in the District.
We may have to be satisfied with a modified approach for some time
and treat only the areas that do not restock themselves to conifer
within a reasonable period following cutting. On the basis of 40$
of area treated, cost would be in the neighbourhood of $100,000 to
prepare the site and plant the trees. In the second instance
however, we will have to be satisfied with a high percentage of
Balsam Fir on about 60fo of these upland cut overs for some time
We consider the second alternative to be the most practical
for the time being. This could be regarded as the initial phase
in our approach to restocking these cut over areas to Spruce. An
expanded program would require a lot of operational planning,
nursery production would have to be co-ordinated with proposed pro-
jects, so it would take a number of years to put such a program
into full operation. We might then see our way clear to modify
such a program to plant all upland cut over within a year or two
To carry out such an expanded planting program and assuming
this Department is to be responsible for maintenance of productivity
on all Crown areas would require the contracting of much of this
work to the licencees who have the facilities, labour, supervision
and interest to do this type of work.
- 9 -
Regarding other methods of getting regeneration to Spruce on
these sites, we are ever hopeful that there may evolve some system
of restocking by means other than planting that will afford the
opportunity of treating these extensive areas with considerably
more despatch than we are able to at present. We are aware that
we have a seedbed problem and are also aware that many excellent
stands of timber have resulted from fire. Perhaps something
along the lines of prescribed burning coupled with a system of
seed disbursement may eventually offer a solution. We recognize
that burning the surface and dispersing seed will not guarantee
regeneration by any means. Conditions at the time of burning
would determine whether the fire would merely scorch the surface
litter, which wouldn't be of much advantage, or remove it.
Even if we do succeed in removing the litter it may have the effect
of making the seedbed hotter in which case climatic conditions
after the burn might be a limiting factor in getting regeneration.
Then there is the possibility that we might only succeed in
stimulating the growth of competing vegetation and perhaps even
damage the site. In any case there is a field for experimental
work along these lines and in fact in the entire field of Spruce
management, and I would suggest that there is a need for an
accelerated program of research to deal with this species.
In conclusion I should like to mention something on personnel
as it applies to this Department in the field of stand improvement.
Much of the effort of the timber staff is directed towards timber
disposal and its resulting problems. Planting and stand improve-
ment projects are often regarded as unfortunate circumstances that
occur several times a year to disrupt Department routine. Although
we do have a few people with a reasonable degree of training in
timber, they are not always available for stand improvement or
associated projects because of the pressure of other work. We
are fully aware of the problems of administration in allotting
the available qualified or partly qualified personnel to specific
jobs. Therefore, it is my feeling that we should increase our
timber staff by bringing suitable ranger school graduates into
timber, developing their skills and interests in timber work and
retaining them on a permanent basis. This would provide a
stable nucleus of qualified supervision for timber projects
particularly in the timber growing field, and we could then aim
at carrying out stand improvement work on a more extended basis
instead of a few projects during the year. Unfortunately this
stop and start approach to stand improvement doesn't tend to
maintain interest in this work. Projects are carried out, written
up filed, and in some instances forgotten.
Where the Unit Forester is concerned, some thought should be
given to shaking him loose from some of the work he is now doing.
Such things are - map preparation, some aspects of timber disposal,
keeping of cut over records, processing licence expiries among other
things. Although the Forester should have a hand in this work,
much of it could be done by clerical and in some instances Ranger
staff if it were available. This would give the Foresters more
- 10 -
time for the extensive planning in the various phases of timber
unit development vihich he is required to do if he is to do this
planning in a rational manner and with some accuracy based on ade-
quate field inspection. I therefore respectfully submit that from
the personnel standpoint this business of growing timber is not re-
ceiving the attention and consideration it requires.
- 11 -
THE WOODCOCK IN THE PARRY SOUND FOREST
DISTRICT OF ONTARIO - A PROGRESS REFORT
J. F. Leach,
A study was initiated in the autumn of 1962 to
assess the potential of the Anerican woodcock
Philohela minor (Gmelin) as a gane bird in the
Parry Sound Forest District of Ontario, and to
collect information about breeding success, sex
ratios, migration and other subjects of value in
woodcock management. It was shown that woodcock
can be successfully hunted in this District in the
months of September and October. Most of the birds
had migrated from the District by the end of October
Sex and age studies revealed that of sixty-one fall-
shot birds examined 54.1 per cent were males and
49.2 per cent were juveniles, a ratio similar to
that obtained by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service for all of Ontario for the years 1959 and
I960. Twenty woodcock carcasses were retained for
analysis for pesticide residues. It is suggested
that the hunting of woodcock should be promoted in
the Parry Sound District and consideration be given
to its management.
A study was initiated in the autumn of 1>62 to assess
the potential of the American woodcock Philohela minor (Gmelin)
as a game bird in the Parry Sound Forest District of Ontario,
and to collect information about breeding success, sex ratios,
migration and other subjects of value in woodcock management.
Previous to this little was known about woodcock in this District
and upland game bird census- information indicates that very few
woodcock were being taken by hunters.
This investigation revealed that woodcock are widely
distributed throughout the District in September and October
and that they occur in large enough numbers in certain localized
areas to provide excellent hunting. Hunters interviewed bagged
55 woodcock in 62.5 man-hours of hunting for a catch per unit
- 12 -
effort (C.U.E.) in number of birds bagged per man-hour of hunting
of 0.88, approximately three and one-half times the average C.U.E.
of 0.25 for ruffed grouse hunters in the District for 5 years from
1957 to 1961.
There are two popular methods of hunting woodcock.
One involves flushing them from the dense coverts which they
usually inhabit throughout the day. The birds usually do not
flush until the hunter approaches quite close; when finally
flushed they erupt from the cover in a flurry and offer a
difficult target. The second, a more passive type of hunting,
involves shooting birds over open fields during their crepus-
cular flights at dawn and at dusk. The literature reveals that
the evening flight is by far the best. The birds become active
at these times and travel from one cover to another or fly to
fields. Excellent sport can be had during these flights. One
hunter likened the excitement of this type of hunting to evening
pass shooting for ducks. A good bird dog is a decided advantage
in both types of woodcock hunting.
Mr, C. W. Douglas and the author made some interesting
observations on October 25, 1962, while tracking woodcock in one
half an inch of fresh snow. Nine flushes were made and in every
case fresh woodcock tracks had been made prior to the flush.
The sets of fresh tracks extended for distances of from ten to
twenty yards. In two cases it was known definitely that the
tracks were made just prior to the flush because the woodcock
observed had been flushed into the new cover just previously and
their landing locations noted. When flushed a second time,
moments after the first flush, fresh tracks were observed leading
away from the observer for a distance of approximately ten yards
in one case and of approximately fifteen yards in the other.
In two other cases old tracks preceded the fresh tracks. These
observations indicate that woodcock will attempt to walk away
from an intruder and may not "lie tight' 8 to the degree inferred
by the popular literature on woodcock hunting. This and the
fact that woodcock must be approached quite closely before they
flush, led us to conclude that hunters without dogs could fail to
flush many of the birds present in a covert.
Although the woodcock could be an important game bird
here few hunters pursue them. Most hunters interviewed were not
aware that such good sport could be had, and said they would
"try them" in future. Many of the hunters thought woodcock were
too small to bother with. It was pointed out to them that the
hunting of birds as small or even smaller than woodcock is very
popular in the United States. For example, mourning doves,
Wilson's snipe and various species of quail as well as woodcock
are popular game birds there. Woodcock hunting is very popular
in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and is gaining in popularity in
- 13 -
Quebec and parts of Ontario. We believe it will eventually become
popular in this part of the Province.
To obtain some information on woodcock abundance throughout
the hunting season periodic counts were made during evening
crepuscular flights at Study Area I. This Area is an abandoned
baseball diamond surrounded by low- lying woodcock coverts.
Table I shows the date, number of birds observed and semimonthly
average number of birds observed. Woodcock were most abundant
in the latter half of September; the number observed gradually
decreased until the end of October when very few woodcock were
present. Since this area was heavily hunted, by two hunters
in particular, it is possible that this progressive decrease in
numbers was due, at least in part, to the effects of hunting.
However, observations at other study areas indicated that very
few woodcock were present by the end of October.
Sex and Age Distribution
SJhenever possible the woodcock examined were sexed by
three separate methods and aged by three separate methods. Infor-
mation for sixty- two fall- shot woodcock was collected in 1962.
One bird could not be sexed or aged as only one blood- smeared
wing was available for examination. A brief description of the
methods used on the remaining sixty-one woodcock is given in
the appendix and the information obtained for each bird is
given in Table III (appendix). It was found that the results
obtained by the different methods were quite similar. One method
of sexing and two of aging were used on the wings and it is believed
that a high degree of accuracy can be attained by the use of the
Observations of woodcock at Study Area I during their
evening crepuscular flights showing the date, number
of birds observed and semimonthly average number of
Average Number of Birds
Seen by All Observers
No. of Birds Observed
In Table II the information collected in this study is
tabulated along with the information for all of Ontario for
the years 1959 and 1960. This latter infomation was taken from
a paper entitled "Results of the 1959 and 1960 Woodcock Wing
Surveys",' published by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
August, 1961. In each of the three years adult males occupy a
smaller percentage of the sample than do juvenile males, and
adult females occupy a larger percentage of the sample than do
juvenile females. Also the age ratio of 0.^7 immatures per
adult for Parry Sound District in 1962 is quite similar to the
values obtained by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service of 1.13
for 1959 and of 0.94 for 1960. Since the sample size for 1962 is
small and the areas involved are different, theoretically it is
not valid to make this comparison, but it is the best that can
be done with the information available at present. If the samples
for all of Ontario for 1959 and 1960 are at all representative of
what occurred in the Parry Sound District then it seems probable
that there have been no drastic changes in the autumn population
structure of woodcock in this District during the past four years.
The literature reveals that adult and juvenile wood-
cock migrate at different times. Wright (1960) found that adult
woodcock in New Brunswick left the area before the juveniles.
There was no evidence of this here. Of the 27 birds taken from
September 22 to October 6, 59.3 per cent were juveniles, and of
the 34 birds taken from October 8 to October 31 only 41.2 per cent
were juveniles. If anything this would indicate that the juveniles
left first; however, the sample sizes are small, thus the difference
could be entirely due to chance alone or to heavy hunting of a
few coverts. Wright (1960) found that in New Brunswick there was
no appreciable difference in the sex ratio throughout the season.
Our findings were similar. Of 27 birds taken from September 22 to
October 6, 51,9 per cent were males and of 34 birds taken from
October to October 31, 55. > per cent were males.
Chemical Pestic ides
This study includes an attempt to find out if our
woodcock populations are affected by widespread applications
of chemical pesticides on the wintering grounds, or elsewhere
along migration routes. Twenty carcasses were collected and
preserved and will be sent to the Patuxent Wildlife Research
Center, Laurel, Maryland, for analysis.
- 16 -
Sex and Age Composition of Fall- shot Woodcock from all
of Ontario in 1959 and 1960, and from the Parry Sound
Forest District of Ontario in 1962 ,
Juveniles per Adult
* Figures in pa
te numbers oi
** U. S. Fish an
d Wildlife rec
- 17 -
Rec ommenda t i on s
Now that we know the woodcock can be an important
game bird in this District we recommend that woodcock hunting
be promoted so that this renewable natural resource will be
harvested. We also recommend that consideration be given to
the management of this bird and its habitat so that the
maximum continuous recreation may be realized.
Summary and Conclusions
1. It is shown that woodcock can be successfully
hunted in the Parry Sound Forest District of
Ontario in September and October. The hunters
interviewed bagged 55 woodcock in 62.5 man-hours
of hunting for a catch per unit effort (C.U.E.)
in number of birds bagged per man-hour of hunt-
ing of 0,88
2. Observations of woodcock tracks in shallow snow
indicate that :the birds will attempt to walk
away from an intruder, before resorting to flight.
3. It was found that most of the birds had migrated
from the District by the end of October.
4. Sex and age determinations by several methods
revealed that a high degree of accuracy can be
obtained by the use of the wings alone.
5. Of the 61 fall- shot birds examined 54.1 per cent
were males and 4^.2 per cent were juveniles. These
figures do not differ greatly from those obtained by
the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for all of
Ontario for the years 1959 and I960, thus it seems
probable that there have been no drastic changes
in the autumn population structure of woodcock
in this District during the past four years.
6. Wright (1>60) found that adult woodcock in
New Brunswick left the area before the juveniles.
The opposite situation seemed to be the case in
the Parry Sound Forest District.
7. There was no appreciable difference in the sex
ratio of fall- shot woodcock throughout the season.
8. Woodcock hunting should be promoted in the District
and management of the bird and its habitat should
- 18 -
It is a pleasure to acknowledge the guidance given
throughout this work by my supervisor Mr. C. W. Douglas. Thanks
are also due many of the staff members of the Department of Lands
and Forests of the Parry Sound Forest District who assisted with
the work and the sportsmen and other interested persons who co-
operated by submitting pertinent information.
1. Internal examination of gonads -° This method was
considered the most reliable.
2. Measurement of bill length -- Greeley (1953) showed
that female woodcock had longer bills than males.
Greeley took the bill measurement as the distance
from the base of the nares to the tip. In this study
the average bill length of 26 males was 2.31 inches
and of 20 females 2.60 inches. There was an overlap
of 13.0 per cent. Greeley (1953) calculated from the
data of Tufts (1940) and Mendall and Aldous (1943)
that sex could not be distinguished by bill length
alone in about 16 per cent of the birds. Figure I
is a graphic representation of the bill length data
obtained in this study; note that there is consider-
able overlap at the i" 2 standard deviation level.
3. Measurement of the width of the outer primary feather -■
Greeley (195?) showed that the width of the number
ten primary feather 2 cm. from the distal end was
greater in females than in males. Of the sixty-one
sets of wings examined during this study those of
females averaged 0.171 inches and those of males
averaged 0.124 inches. There was no overlap (Greeley
notes 9 per -;ent). Figure II is a graphic representa-
tion of the primary width data obtained in this study;
note thai: even at the 1*2 standard deviation level there
is no overlap.
The primary feathers were originally measured a few
days after the death of the birds. The values ob-
tained when the feathers were re-measured in December,
1962, were often larger than the original values.
Thus it is possible that the width of the feathers
changed with time after death. This problem will be
pursued further in future.
- 19 -
BILL LENGTHS OF MALE AND FEMALE WOODCOCK
SHCUING THE MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS
£lS.O^If 2S.D. — >|
2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9
WIDTHS OF NO. 10 PRIMARY FEATHERS OF MALE AND FEMALE
WOODCOCK SHOWING THE MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS
*i s . py^- 2s. d . — ><
100 .110 .120 .130 .140 .150 .160 .170 .180 .190
* Standard Deviation
■ -■ - T> q _..
- 20 -
£ fc £ > •
•-> •-> ^ •-> <j
P TJ X)
•d <! <c
>>>>> •> . •>>>> .
3 3 3 D ST) O'O'O 3 3 P 3*0
, -J , -3 f -3 , -) , -3<: h -)<(;<d , -) , -3^3 , -)<U
> • •
*-i <j <3
> > > > •
■-) *-} rj •-) <
> > > > •
P P P P -O
•-> ^ »-> »-0 <J
> • •
P "O T3
<-3 <J <J
> > >
> > •
p p x>
*"0 "-3 <tj
> • •
P TJ X)
»-) <j <d
P X3 T3
•-3 <C <
fc fc &
5 5 5
l-j l-j »-,
> * •
P TJ X»
^ <J <
> I •
P J TJ
r Hr^r^rH^iHr^i-Hr-lr-<r-)!--4i-liHr-<r-lr-<t-lr-4 I --4i-lfHr-lr-<iHiH
• • I
1191(011 • I > > > > > I I I »>>>>• I 1 I
s e t i » » jnjtpppppj 1 t-OPPPPT)! t c
I i o 1 I I !<j! H "3 H "3 H 3 H, 5 H "3t I t <j '"3 """J """i '"3 <| 8 1 t
8 8 8 t I 8faSSSfePnS»SSfeSSSfefa« ' •
j j r>» o> co m e> r^ ^o i M3MntM<f oomo » co ir»
s i vohh Ninmco i HMcoHcon^iri i MT\
8 1 J » I • •
8 8 CM CN CN CM CN CN CN I CMNCNNNNMM i CN N
<f LO v£3 r^»
nnn: : : : : n: :
• • . •
0> <f vO vO \D
S Z S CM
U U -P 4J
cu a, a. tx
CD 0) Q) Q)
4J • • •
Cu 4J 4J 4J
Q M & U
— I 'H
3 fa CO
43 rH 43
T3 • CO
& 55 fa
- 21 -
. > > .
•O 3 3*0
<5 »"3 »"3 <J
CD 3 60
•H «H 3
p rH O
rJ ?4 Q°
CD CO O
fa O S
3 TJ X> T3 TJ TD
>~3 <j <jj <£ <; <j
> > > > •
3 3 3 3-0
>-i *i *-i *-) <&
Zi'O w O r O'OXi r O T O r O r O'V
> > •
n *-i <
> > .
3 3 tj
•-) •-) <J
3 *0 T3 T) T) T3
*-> <j <j <; <i <jj
> > > > •
3 3 3 3 -O
•-) ^ "-3 *-> <J
> > > > .
3 3 3 3T5
■-> »-s rj •-) <5
3'0'T3 , 0'0*0'3 , U'3*0 i
3'O r OT5'T3'O ,1 , d'O' , I
p ^ P ^ r ^^^ l ^ r ^^^^ I Hr^rHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrHrH
I CO rH
i g i i i i i
g s g g i i i
1 I i 1 1 I 1
g t g g g i i
I • > • > •
i tJ 3 T) 3 T3
g <J *i <J ^ <!
gT)'03 , 0333333 r O'0'T3T3
i <;<j r ^<; r ^^r) H ^ H > H )<U<J3<ij<l
i i i X
vO<fmOvOOOCMnHNOO^H(?\ I r>»sD^OvO<J-CNvO
m<j-vor^-co<trHroiOLO<fiovOcom g cn<i-roc ,r >'<j'c r >c ,r >P r )
CNOJCNJCNCNJCNCNCNCNCMtNCNCMCMCN g NCMCMNNNNN I
u u u
<tms z vos onOs cos
rH rH rH rH tN rH
• • • • • •
■U 4-1 4-1 4J 4J 4J
8z z z z z z z z 8 8z 8z z 8 8z z 8z 8 8z OSSSSO
- 22 -
C fa co
o a 1
"O • CO
•H O 0)
!2 S3 fa
£ .J > > >
3 -p 3 3 3
■"J <^ D »"3 *-0
fa fe S fe £
• • > > >
J T3 3 3 3
• <; *-) *-i •-»
I • 1 9 >
I T3 » J 3
ir> O O O O
v£> v£> CM CO O
fa r*. s fa s
CM O O
>* r^ co
CM N N
r<. co (7\
o o =
- 23 -
In this study ages were determined by the following
methods and the results obtained by each method were
similar in every case.
l.A. Internal examination for presence of bursa of
Fabricius -- As in many game birds the bursa of
Fabric ius is present in juvenile woodcock but degene-
rate in adults. Greeley (1953) explains that probing
the bursa externally is very difficult in woodcock;
however, internally the bursa difference in fall- shot
woodcock is quite apparent. Thus, the birds were
aged by this latter technique whenever possible.
l.B. Measurement of the diameter of the base of the oviduct
— Greeley (1953) also showed that the diameter of the
base of the oviduct is usually greater than 3 mm. in
adult females and usually less than 1 mm. in juvenile
females. This method was used on female woodcock
2. Extent of wear on the outer primary feathers --
Sheldon et al (1958) showed that fall- shot woodcock
can be aged by differences in the extent of wear on
the tips of the outer three primary feathers. Adults
moult these feathers in July or August, but juveniles
retain them until their second summer; consequently,
in the autumn, these feathers are more worn on juven-
iles than on adults.
3. Difference in the colour and pattern of some of the
secondary feathers -- Martin (1960) showed that the
age of woodcock can be determined by differences in
the colour and pattern of some of the secondary
Aldrich, J. W. et al. 1956. Investigation of Woodcock, Snipe, and
Rails in 1955. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. , Spec. Sci.
Rept. Wildl. No. 31. (including several papers on
woodcock dealing mainly with population indices.)
Anonymous, 1961. Results of the 1959 and 1960 Woodcock Wing Surveys.
U. S. Fish and Wildl. Serv., Patuxent Wildl. Res. Center,
Laurel, Maryland, (indicates that the wing survey offers
much promise as a research tool.)
- 24 -
Boyer, G. F. 1959. Northern Distribution of Woodcock in Ontario.
Ont. Dept. Lands & Forests, Fish & Wildl. Mgt. Rept.
Gower, N. C. 1939. The Use of the Bursa of Fabric ius as an
Indication of Age in Game Birds. Trans. N. A. Wildl.
Greeley, F. 1953. Sex and Age Studies in Fall- shot Woodcock
(Philohela minor ) from Southern Wisconsin. J. Wildl.
Mgt., 17: 29-32.
Knight, J. A. 1944. Woodcock. Knopf Co. (a book on the life history,
ecology and hunting of woodcock).
Liscinsky, S. 1962. The Pennsylvania Woodcock Study. Repr. Pa.
Game News, Pa. Game Coram . Harrisburg, Pa. (information
on reproduction and foods and feeding of woodcock).
Martin, F. N. 1960. Age Determinations of Woodcock From Wings,
unpub. ns. U. S. Fish & Wildl. Res. Center, Laurel,
(a method of age determination based on differences
in the colour and pattern of some of the secondary
Mendall, H. L. and C. M. Aldous. 1943. The Ecology and Management
of the American Woodcock. Contrib. Maine Co-op.
Wildl. Res. Unit. 201 pp. (measurement of bill length
used as a method of sexing woodcock.)
Sheldon, W. G. 1961. Summer Crepuscular Flights of American
Woodcock in Central Massachusetts. The Wilson Bull;
2:126-139. (Moulting studies of these summer birds
provided a technique for sexing and aging wings of fall-
Sheldon, W. G. et al. 1958. Aging Fall- shot American Woodcocks
by Primary Wear. Journ. Wildl. Mgt. 22: 310-312.
Thompson, D. R. 1958. Field Techniques for Sexing and Aging
Game Animals. Wisconsin Conservation Dept; Spec.
Wildl. Rept; No. 1: 10-11. (includes a description of
techniques for sexing and aging woodcock.)
Tufts, R. W. 1940. Some Studies in Bill Measurements and Body
Weights of American Woodcock ( Philohela minor )
Can. Field-Nat; LIV (9): 132-134.
- 25 -
Wright, B. S. 1960. The 1959 Fall Flight of Woodcock From New
Brunswick. Northeastern Wildl. Station, Univ. of
N. B. s Fredericton, N, B. (showed that juveniles
migrated later than adults.)
Wright, B. S. 1960. Woodcock Reproduction in D.D.T. -
Sprayed Areas of New Brunswick. Repr. Journ. Wildl,
Mgt. Vol. 24; 4: 419-420. (indicates that breeding
success may have been materially affected by D.D.T.
Dressage et Utilisation du Chien d 'Arret, by Jean Castaing
Publisher, Toison d'Or, Paris. 1954. 286 pp.
There are a surprisingly large number of people in
the Department of Lands and Forests who know French. To
all such, and to those like them in the Province at large,
the above paper-back, at $1.25 delivered to us, is far, far,
ahead of any other book on dog training ever written, and
I have read them all. Apparently, in hunting as in other
matters, they do it better in France. The breeds dealt
with are the standard European all-round dogs, the short-
haired pointer, here represented by the French braque,
and the long-haired, represented by the griffon, both breeds
still almost unknown on this continent, though evidently
more biddable than their central European equivalents, with
which we are overrun. Various training steps described
would do to finish a spaniel or a Labrador in the very best
C. H. D. Clarke
- 26 -
REPORT ON HERBICIDE APPLICATION BY HELICOPTER FOR
CONIFER RELEASE, GOGAMA DISTRICT, 1961
D. J. Shaw, Unit Manager
A helicopter was used to spray 1200 acres in
Burrows Township, Gogama District, between Aug. 20
and 21, 1961. The object was to assess the effic-
iency and adaptability of a helicopter as a method
of applying spray to control brush and undesirable
trees in a conifer plantation. The herbicide used
was a low volatile ester of 245-T, 96 ounces of
acid equivalent per Imperial gallon at 28.8 ounces
of acid equivalent por acre, mixed in a water carrier
at the rate of 1 quart of herbicide to 11 quarts of
water. Loading methods, ground control and ground
to air communication are discussed. The high rental
cost of the helicopter compared to fixed-wing air-
craft is more than offset by advantages of maneuvr-
ability, spray accuracy and time gain in landing,
loading and take-off.
. • . : -■ ■ : ■
r 17 .-,
- 27 -
REPORT ON HERBICIDE APPLICATION BY HELICOPTER FOR
CONIFER RELEASE - GOGAMA DISTRICT 196 1
Current literature on the subject of aerial spraying with
herbicides indicates that the technique is relatively new and, as a
matter of fact, little was known about the effects of selective her-
bicides as late as 1950.
The first spray program in the Gogama District was carried out
towards the end of July 1958* and involved the use of fixed-winged
aircraft on floats and herbicides 2, 4-D ester, acid equivalent 128 oz.
per gallon, with a water base. A total area of 594 acres of Red and
White Pine and White Spruce seedlings planted in 1956 and 1957 were
released from the overtopping effects of poplar, white birch, red
cherry, willow and shrub competition. The results obtained were
generally satisfactory, although it is to be noted that only partial
kill on the poplar was obtained.
Aerial spray projects in the Gogama District will continue,
on an annual basis, in the townships of Kelvin, Kemp, Burrows and
Cabot where upwards of 10 million conifer seedlings have been plantod
since 1956. The 65,000 acre twice-burned area lying within parts of
the above townships is currently being restocked at an annual rate of
3 million Red, White, Jack Pine and White, Black Spruce seedlings.
Shrub and hardwood competition in 1956 was present but did not present
any particular problem to initial growth or survival. However, it is
apparent that early plantings, particularly White Pine, now suffer
varying degrees of suppression from the increasing crown closure of
hardwood saplings, especially of poplar. Because poplar predominates,
the herbicide 2, 4 5 - T instead of 2, 4 - D was employed en the 1961
GENERAL SITE DESCRIPTION OF THE 1961 SPRAY AREA - BURROWS TOWNSHIP
The 1200 acre area selected for spray this past summer is
bounded on the north and south by Sinclair and Marne Lakes and on the
east and west by tertiary access roads constructed at the time of the
planting projects in 1957 and 1958. The whole site is moderately
rolling with three main esker ridges dominating the topography. Soils
vary from medium silty sands to stony tills with fresh to somewhat dry
moisture regimes. Better poplar sapling growth (l" - 2" D.B.H.-20*
height) is associated with the fresh sites while Red Cherry and coppice
white birch is more often found in more open patches of drier sites.
Approximately 950,000 conifer seedlings were planted during
the Spring and Fall seasons of 1957* 1958 and 1959. Survival counts
of the area in i960 indicated 70$ average survival with White and Red
Pine showing the greatest annual height growth.
PRE -SPRAY PLANNING
Since the use of helicopter, rather than fixed-wing aircraft,
was to be employed, particular attention to preliminary planning was
- 28 -
necessary in order to fairly assess th3 efficiency and adaptability
of helicopter as a relatively new technique on spray operations.
Fortunately we were able to observe a similar spray project in the
Chapleau District prior to our own program and this was of consider-
able help to us in our own program and this was of considerable help
to us in our pre-planning.
The area to be sprayed was outlined on two sets of identical
aerial photos and all roads were marked on the photos. The total
area was further sub-divided into three sections on the photos using
topographic ground features such as ridges and waterways as the basis
Since the conventional method of pumping the herbicide
solution from barrels to the helicopter tanks by an electric pump
proved to be too slow a method, a gravity feed system, involving
construction of a 10 foot high tnwer and a ramp, was devised. This
loading method also overcame the added disadvantage of herbicide
foaming which occurred with the use of the conventional electric
pump unit and one-half inch hose outlet.
Although opinions differ on the types and degree of useful-
ness of ground markers with helicopter spraying, we were advised by
the pilot, that for maximum coverage, at least four flagmen on each
strip would be necessary. Each "flagman" was equipped with a 20 foot
long pole with a one foot square of red broadcloth tied on one end.
Communication between the pilot, loading base and ground
control vehicle was maintained by installing a V.H.F. portable
radio unit in the helicopter, and at the loading tower. This commun-
ication arrangement was supplemented by two walkie-talkie units for
use by the signal crew within the spray areas.
APPLICATION OF HERBICIDE
The herbicide used was a low volatile ester 2,4 5 - T,
96 oz . of acid equivalent per Imperial gallon at 28.8 oz . of acid
equivalent per acre. The carrier was water, mixed with the herbicide
at the rate of 1 quart to 11 quarts per acre. Water was pumped bgr
a Jackmite unit from the lake to two tandem 45 gallon drums on the
loading platform. Here the herbicide was mixed with water with a
small amount of Waxoline Red Marker Dye. The solution was then
gravity fed to the helicopter, through two inch plastic hose.
The helicopter used was a Bell model 4702 with a herbicide
tank capacity of 60 gallons. The spray boom is mounted on front and
top of skid type landing gear to give the pilot a full view of the
boom and spray nozzles. The boom is 22^ feet long and is equipped
with 23 spray nozzles, adjustable to any rate of application. The
nozzles were pre-calibrated to give a spray path of one chain at a
height of approximately 150 feet and air speed of 55 M.P.H.
In each of the sub-blocks the average length of flight
strip was approximately 80 chains making it possible for each of the
four flagman to be stationed about 20 chains apart. As soon as the
helicopter passed over each flagman the latter paced off one chain
- 29 -
and were thus in position for the next strip to be sprayed. In
some cases the pilot reported by radio that he was unable to see
all four flagman, however, the pilot encountered no difficulty in
running the strips as long as he could line up three of the four
flags. Each flagman was assigned a "paper" man whose job it was
to check on the spray efficiency. Strips of paper were laid out
on the ground at right angles to the spray path at one chain
intervals. The marker dye in the herbicide solution spotted the
paper sufficiently well to provide a good indication of the spray
concentration and degree of coverage on each flight.
TIME AND LENGTH OF SPRAY OPERATION
Twelve hundred new acres were sprayed in 680 minutes of
air time extending over parts of three days, August 19, 20, 21, 1961.
Maximum temperatures of 68° F and maximum wind of 4 M.P.H., recommend-
ed for spray operations, restricted flights to morning or early
evening. Air distance from loading strip to furthest point in spray
area was 160 chains, to nearest point 20 chains.
1. District Office
One man was detailed to inspect and map area to be sprayed. Also
the district office outlined to foreman the pre-planning and operat-
ional requirements of the project. The flight plan was reviewed with
the pilot and several familiarization flights were made by the pilot.
2. Loading Crew
This crew consisted of five members of the junior ranger group
stationed at the Marne Lake tree planting camp and a senior staff
ranger who supervised the mixing and loading operations.
3. Flag Crew
Additional nine junior rangers were detailed to the spray area.
Four men acted as the flag crew with an additional four laying out
strips of paper for spray coverage checks. The remaining man was
stationed, as an observer, on the ridges overlooking the sub-blocks
4. Project Foreman
This man acted as senior foreman in charge. By means of a truck
and walkie-talkie unit the project foreman was able to maintain over-
all control of the operation.
(a) Salaries: - (i) Junior Ranger Payroll (l day) 33.00
(ii) Other Ranger (Payroll) 52.00
TOTAL - $85.00
- 30 -
COSTS: - (Continued
(b) Maintenance and
Helicopter rental @ $100.00 per hr. $1,177.00
2, 4 5 - T Herbicide
(10 - 45 gal. drums) 3,663.00
Lumber and Nails (Loading Platform) 160.00
Wrapping Paper 24.00
Truck Mileage 8.00
Marker Dye 65.
GRAND TOTAL 5, 182.00
COST PER ACRE 4.32
VISIBLE EFFECTS OF SPRAY
Within ten days after spraying there was a noticeable brown
appearance to the general area as seen from the air. Subsequent
ground inspection showed that a high proportion of the leaves on
cherry, white birch, alder, willow and hazel had died but there was
no noticeable change in coloration of the poplar leaves. A second
inspection one month later indicated that the poplar had turned
brown but assessment was incomplete because natural leaf fall had
occurred by this time. Examination of the blocks will be necessary
next summer in order to fully assess the results of the spray on the
poplar and to determine the beneficial aspects of the project.
At the time of writing, we are unable to fully assess the
spray results and therefore our comments on the type of herbicide,
carrier agent and rate of application are reserved until a later
The higher rental costs of helicopter compared to fixed
winged aircraft are more than offset by advantages of maneuvrability
spray occuracy and time gain in landing, loading and take-off.
Average time spent in air for each load of herbicide release was
seven minutes and time of loading was 2 minutes. Wind velocities of
up to 8 M.P.H. appear permissible with a helicopter since the advant-
age of being able to fly at low altitudes lessens spray drift. The
performance of the helicopter plus the co-operation and interest of
the pilot was excellent.
- 31 -
Because the use of helicopter for spraying was a new
technique, several safeguards were undertaken to check the
efficiency of helicopter spraying. The use of paper and red dye
solution in the herbicide to test the spray coverage will be dis-
continued on future projects because the dye is difficult to
remove from metal and clothing.
The amount of pre-planning and type of markers used,
does, to a great degree, determine the efficiency of spray coverage
received where blocks of 200 acres or more are involved. Since
the direction of flight matters little to the pilot the flight
strips should be arranged to take advantage of any natural topo-
graphic features for both the turn points at the end of each strip
and for placement of marker man to assist the pilot.
Radio Communication between the foreman in the spray area
and the loading base was an asset but, on the other hand, communic-
ation between pilot and ground was of little advantage since the
pilot required both hands for helicopter and spray controls
leaving him few opportunities to transmit except at turn points at
the end of the spray runs.
Flying at low altitudes enables a helicopter to more
accurately "pine-point" each spray load. This, however, calls for
better marker control on the ground to get the best coverage by
(a) reducing spray overlap and at the same time (b) reducing the
number of "miss strips.
- 32 -•
THE HEAVER ON MICHIPICOTEN ISLAND
S, A. Pozzo and A. B. Stephenson
An aerial survey of Michipicoten Island
during October.. 1961 revealed 730 active lodges
on the 71 square mile area. It was estimated
that 43 per cent of these lodges were trapped
during 1961-62. Two Indian families took 1552
beavers in addition to 127 taken by a white
trapper. Based on an empirical figure of eight
beavers per lodge* this represented 29 per cent
of the beaver population. The Indians collected
information on sex, weight and pelt size and
skulls of 589 beavers. All specimens were aged
according to tooth development and ages were
plotted against weight, pelt size and two skull
measurements . The sex ratio was 117 66 to 100 $2
with males predominating in all age classes
except yearlings . Female yearlings may be more
susceptible to capture during March, There was a
negative selection for kits while yearlings com-
prised the largest trapped age group. Growth of
beaver was rapid during the first two years but
kits and yearlings could be readily separated by
several criteria. Although growth continued
until about four years of age it was impossible
to distinguish older age classes by weight and
measurements due to the large overlap in these
Prior to 1956 no trapper was licenced to trap Michipicoten
Island and consequently few beavers were taken except by the occa-
sional poacher. During the next four years a licenced trapper
annually removed an average of 30 beavers from a small portion of
the 71 square mile island,
Aerial and ground inspections by Departmental personnel
indicated that beavers were very plentiful and that special efforts
should be initiated to utilise this resource. Therefore, in 1960-61
the first major trapping effort took place (Pozzo , 1961). During
this season 1298 beavers were taken; 1176 by two Indian families
and 122 by a white trapper.
1961 Aerial Survey
On October 26 and 27 , 1961 an aerial survey was conducted
to determine the number and distribution of active beaver lodges,
1. Senior Conservation Officer, White River District.
2. Biologist, Research Branch, Maple.
- 33 -
A Beaver aircraft was flown at an elevation of 600 to 800 feet. An
observer seated behind the pilot called out the active colonies which
were recorded by the navigator on a one-inch-to- the-mile map. Each
stream was flown from its mouth to its source and back again. Lakes
and intervening areas, studded with small ponds , ; were circled two to
three times to satisfy the crew that all active ' lodges were tallied.
The survey revealed a total of 730 active lodges. Some
lodges were undoubtedly missed , but the greatest error was probably
in counting individual lodges more than once, because of their close
grouping in some sections of the island.
1961-62 Trapping Season
Three Indian families were allowed to trap in addition to the
one white trapper. The first Indian family arrived on the Island on
October 21, and the other two on November 5 9 1961. Trapping termi-
nated on March 27, 1962. Approximately 250 man-days were spent
actually trapping by the Indian families during which time they took
1552 beavers. This averaged 6,2 beavers per day with a maximum of
27 beavers for any one day. The white trapper took 127 beavers
giving a total of 1679 beavers for the season.
The Indian trappers marked on a map all lodges which they
trapped, which totalled 291. Thus they removed an average of 5.3
beavers per lodge. If the white trapper took a comparable number of
beavers per lodge he trapped 25 lodges. This gives a total of 316
lodges or 43 per cent of the lodges mapped in October, 1961.
During open- water trapping in October, 1961 an effort was
made to remove all beavers from three lodges to determine the number
per colony; 1'2, ..eight .and three t>eavers were- taken from3t;he r -respective
lodges. These lodges were trapped again during the winter months and
they still produced beavers. These animals may have escaped the
earlier trapping or else reoccupied the vacated lodges later in the
season. Nevertheless, from these limited data there was a minimum
average of eight beavers per lodge, which approximated an earlier
estimate by one of the Indians based on his trapping experience in
1960-61. On this basis there were 5800 beavers on the island in the
fall of 1961. This represents over 80 beavers per square mile or
eight acres per beaver. The trapping effort during 1961-62 removed
an estimated 29 per cent of the population.
Collection of Biological Data
From January 20 to March 27 , 1962 the Indian trappers
recorded the sex, weight and pelt size of 589 beavers. The heads of
these beavers were tagged with numbered aluminum tags and shipped to
the Research Branch at Maple. During the summer the skulls were
cleaned by exposing them to the action of fly larvae. Two measure-
ments were taken from each skull - zygomatic breadth and greatest
length. The mandibles were removed and numbered for age determina-
tion. The right mandible was X-rayed and the first molar was
extracted from the left mandible for ageing according to the tech-
nique described by Williamson (1959).
- 34 -
Ageing beaver's teeth from X-ray plates was usually more
expedient than ageing by direct examination of the first mandibular
molar. It also permitted comparison of the premolar and the three
molars in specimens which v/ere intermediate in age-class character-
istics. However, in some specimens it v/as difficult to ascertain
from the X-ray plate if the base of the molar was open or closed and
then direct examination was better.
Age and Sex Distribution
Pig. 1 shows the age frequency distribution for both male and
female beavers. Fewer one year old beavers (kits) were taken than
two-year -olds (yearlings) which indicated a definite selection for
larger and consequently older beavers. Two-year-old beavers com-
prised 29 per cent of the catch, which was the largest age class
represented. Three -year- olds and older beavers , which constitute
the breeding segment of the population,, were taken in progressively
small numbers up to a maximum age of seven years.
Males predominated in all age groups with the exception of
the two -year- old group; the sex ratio of the sample was 117 males
to 100 females. In the two-year- old group more males were taken
during the first half of the period sampled (January 20 to February
22, 1962) to the extent of 109 males to 100 females, however, during
the second half (February 23 to March 27, 1962) the sex ratio was
only 70 males to 100 females. This predominance of female yearlings
during March indicates that they may be more vulnerable to trapping
than males at this time of year.
Relation between Age and Weight
Table I presents the beaver v/eights by age and sex. Males
were slightly heavier than females in the first two age groups but in
the older age groups there was little difference. Fig. 2 shows the
age-weight relationship for both sexes combined. There was a steady
increase in the weight of animals up to four years of age after which
there was a slight decrease in average weights of older beavers.
Relation between Age and Pelt Size
Table 2 presents the beaver pelt size in inches by age and
sex. Males in the first two age groups had slightly larger pelts
than the females while there was little difference between sexes in
the older age classes. Fig. 3 shows that pelts size increased
rapidly up to three years of age during which time the major growth
of the beaver took place. During the fourth year there was a further
increase in size but this leveled off in the older age groups indi-
cating no appreciable growth after four years of age.
Fig. 4 shows the frequency of beaver pelt sizes as related to
age groups. From the above data one-year-old beavers (kits) had a
pelt size of 49 inches or less and two-year-old beavers (yearlings)
had a pelt size between 50 and 59 inches. The majority of pelts in
the 60 to 64 inch class were three-year-olds but the overlap in pelt
sizes became so great after this age group that it v/as impossible to
relate pelt size to age.
- 35 -
Relation between Age and Skull Size
Pigs . 5 and 6 show the relationships of age to zygomatic
breadth and skull length respectively. Both measurements showed a
steady increase in skull size up to four years of age after which
there was little additional increase. As with weight and pelt size,
male kits and yearlings had slightly larger skulls than females "but
after two years of age there was no appreciable sexual difference in
Zygomatic breadth has been used as a field ageing technique
(Patric and Webb, I960); it is easy to obtain and is more reliable
than weight in the younger age-classes, because there is less over-
lap in the age-class measurements.
The beaver population on Michipicoten Island was high in 1961-
62. Of the 730 active lodges mapped from the air in October, 1961
only 316 or 43 per cent were trapped during the 1961-62 season. These
lodges yielded an average of 5.3 beavers for a total take of 1679
animals. Efforts to remove all beavers from three lodges indicated
that there were eight animals per lodge. On the basis of this figure
there were 5800 beavers on the island in the fall of 1961. This rep-
resents 80 beavers per square mile or eight acres per beaver.
Trapping during the 1961-62 season removed an estimated 29 per cent
of the population.
The sex ratio of 589 beavers was 117 males to 100 females.
More males were taken in all age classes with the exception of the
two-year-old class. Females in this class may be more vulnerable to
trapping in March than males.
Trapping was selective for larger animals since fewer one- year-
olds were taken than two-year-olds. This latter age class const-
tuted the largest age class in the catch while older animals were
taken in progressively smaller numbers up to a maximum of 7 years
according to the age criterion used.
The trapping pressure was heavy in 1961-62 since more than a
quarter of the estimated beaver population was taken from less than
half of the lodges present on the island. Trapping was concentrated
on the accessible lodges along lakes and streams and since there was
a selection for older animals a large percentage of these lodges will
contain yearlings in 1962-63. Also movement from untrapped lodges
into the heavily trapped area will be largely yearlings. Thus a
higher percentage of young beavers in the catch is predicted for the
Male kits and yearlings were slightly heavier and larger than
females in these age classes, but there was no appreciable difference
in the older animals. Weight, pelt size and the two skull measure-
ments increased steadily to four years of age when growth was largely
completed. Weight actually decreased in older animals while skull
measurements showed a slight increase with age. Kits and yearlings
could be separated from older animals with a fair degree of accuracy
by all four criteria but beyond two years of age there was consider-
- 36 -
able overlap in all these data so that it was impossible to dis-
tinguish older age classes "by years. Zygomatic breadth had the least
amount of overlap between age classes and is recommended as a good
field ageing; technique .
1. The beaver population on the island should continue to be
assessed employing both lodge counts and beaver samples.
2. The trapping effort in 1962-63 should remain the same as in
1961-62. Trapping of lodges not trapped in 1961-62 should be
encouraged by providing the trappers with a map showing the
location of lodges if necessary.
3. A ground party should assess the condition of the habitat to
determine the state of the food supply and to recommend a desir-
able harvest to ensure production compatible with forest
Patric, J'arl F. and Wm. L. Webb - I960
An evaluation of three age determination criteria in live
Jour. Wildl. Mgt. 24 (1) 1 37-44.
Pozzo, E, A. - 1961
Michipicoten Island beaver trapping,, 1960-61.
Ont. Dept. Lands and Forests, Resource Management
Williamson, V. H. H. - 1959
Directions to determine the ages of beavers by changes
occurring in the mandibular molars.
Ont. Dept. Lands and Forests, Section Report
(Wildlife) 24? 1-5.
- 37 ~
Table I; Weight in Pounds of Michipicoten Island Beavers
Age Sex Number in Mean ' and Two Two Standard Range
(years ) Sample Standard Errors Deviations
d 1 & $
Table II: Pelt Size in Inches of Michipicoten Island Beavers
Sex Number in
Mean and Two
Two Standard Range
6 & 9
Age Frequencies of
Seavers , 1962
Age m yearJ
- 39 -
Weights of Michipicoten
Island beavers, 1962
1 I Standard Deviation
Age in Years
- 40 -
Pelt Size of Michipicoten
Island Beavers, 1962
JUg Standard Error
| | Standard Deviation
Age in Years
- 42 -
Zygomatic Width of
Michipicoten Island Beaver Skulls, 1962
Age in Years
- 43 -
— . — I
Total Skull Length of Michipicoten Island
!?§g| Standard Error
!_j Standard Deviation
Age in Years
- 44 -
RUFFED GROUSE IN THE GERALDTON DISTRICT, 1962
B. H. Gibson, Biologist
The 1962 summer study of ruffed grouse broods in the
Geraldton District indicated that broods were more
scarce than in 1961. Average size of the broods to
the end of August in 1962 was 5.9 young, calculated
from 27 broods. Studies of hunter success data
suggested that it had dropped appreciably fron the
two previous years. Only 27.5 ruffed grouse were
seen and 16.5 harvested per 100 nan-hours expended
hunting on foot, compared with 75.7 birds observed
and 35.7 shot in 1961. Hunter success by automobile
also appeared to be significantly lower in 1962,
with only 3.0 grouse being sighted and 2.3 killed
for each 100 car miles. In 1961, 7.9 birds were
sighted and 4.1 were harvested for each 100 car miles
Pre- season predictions of poor to fair success for
the hunting season, based largely on the small
number of broods sighted during the summer, were
corroborated by hunter success data.
The ruffed grouse study in the Geraldton District for
1962 was confined to studies of broods during the summer and hunter
success data collected during the fall hunt. Age and sex ratio
studies of hunter killed grouse were not conducted because of the
dubious value of this information in determining grouse production
during the summer and the age and sex composition of the fall grouse
Hunter success data were again acquired from selected
hunters in the District, augmented by field collections of success
data by conservation officers.
Ruffed Grouse Brood Counts During the Summer of 1962
During the summer (June to September) of 1962, conservation
officers in the Geraldton District recorded observations of 27
ruffed grouse broods. In 1961 and 1960, there were 39 and 32
broods reported, respectively. Although fewer broods were recorded
■ ■: :
- 45 -
in 1962, it is questionable that this is a reliable index of production.
No data are available on the effort, or tine of day, or weather
involved, in sighting the broods that were recorded during the last
three years. Without such information we are not able to evaluate
the data on the number of broods sighted each year. In the future
this information should be kept on an annual basis so that production
can be compared on a yearly basis more easily.
The average brood size for the summer of 1962 was 5.9
young, compared with 5.6 for 1961 and 6.0 for 1960. A comparison
of ruffed grouse broods by month for the last three summers is
presented in Table I.
Table I Ruffed Grouse Brood Counts - 1960 to 1962
6 • 6
While fewer broods were sighted during the summer of
1962, the average brood size exceeded the average for 1961. This
would suggest that juvenile grouse survival for 1962 was better up
to the end of August than it was in the previous year. However, the
satisfactory August brood size of 5.7 young did not appear to
contribute appreciably to hunter success, which was much lower for
1962 than in either 1960 or 1S61,
During the summer of 1962, as in the two previous summers,
weather conditions during the post-hatching period were not believed
to have been a decimating factor contributing to the present grouse
scarcity. For most of the District, precipitation was normal for
June and July, as from two to three inches of rain fell during each
of these months. Precipitation was well dispersed, with no heavy
rains experienced. During August precipitation increased from a
normal of 3.4 inches to 4.7 inches. It is conceivable that some
late hatched grouse could have been lost by falling into water- filled
depressions in the ground, from which they could not extricate
themselves and subsequently drown. Bump et al (1947) claim that this
is an important decimating factor in years with heavy precipitation.
' I !
- 46 -
It is unlikely, however, that the above normal precipitation
for August would affect any grouse except those that were late hatched
or part of a renesting attempt . By mid-August, the chicks hatched
in June or July would be from four to eight weeks old, and not
likely vulnerable to weather influences. Also, if weather affected
grouse brood survival, the brood size at the end of August, 1962,
should indicate any great die-off. The brood size should be less
for the "wet" August of 1962 than it was for the drier Augusts of
1961 and 1960. However, the 1962 August brood count (5.7) is the
sane as in 1961 and higher than in August of 1960 (4.6).
Temperatures during the summer of 1962 are not believed
to have adversely affected juvenile grouse survival. Records from
six weather stations in the District for June indicate an average
high temperature of 71 degrees, while average low temperatures
approximated 44 degrees. Lows of 30 degrees and 31 degrees were
experienced on one occasion, each during June. At one station a
low of 20 degrees was recorded for June. This could not be correlated
with any grouse die- off . During July, average high thermometer
readings were in the low 70' s while average low readings registered
in the high 40' s. No frost was experienced during July in the District.
From the number of grouse broods observed during the
summer of 1962, all divisions in the District predicted a disappoint-
ing hunting season. Forecasts of fair to poor hunting were received
from four of the five divisions, while the Nakina division expected
fair to good hunting possibilities. In general, the pre- season
predictions were substantiated by the hunter success during the
Hunter Succes s for Ruffed Grouse During the 1962 Open Season
As was mentioned previously, the pre-hunt assessment of
hunting possibilities indicated a poor to fair grouse hunt in the
Geraldton District. Interviews of hunters, as well as an analysis
of data collected from hunter success study forms (H-50 cards)
from selected District hunters, verifier' that the hunt was mediocre.
A total of 76 completed hunter study cards was received, of which
51 or 68 per cent were parties hunting from an automobile.
The remaining 25 or 32 per cent hunted on foot.
Hunters on fcot saw an average of only 27,5 ruffed grouse
per 100 man-hours expended in search of the species, and harvested
16.5 or 60 per cent of the grouse observed. In l'I61, 75.7 were seen
and 35.5 shot on the average for each 100 man-hours spent hunting on
foot. In 1962, 109 man-hours of hunting on foot were represented,
while only 70 man-hours were considered in the 1961 study. Table II
illustrates the data collected for hunters on foot during 1962.
- 47 -
Table No. II
Ruffed Grouse Hunting on Foot;, 1962
Returns from hunters who hunted from an automobile indicated
that they also experienced reduced success in 1362, compared with
1961c In driving 2549 car miles in 1962, 88 grouse were seen, of
which 59 or 67 per cent were harvested, for an average of 3.0 grouse
observed and 2.3 shot per 100 car miles. In 1961 an average of 7.9
ruffed grouse were encountered and 4.1 were bagged for each 100 car
miles. It is apparent that an average of 12.6 car miles were required
to sight a grouse and 24.4 car miles were necessary to bag one in
1962. Table III illustrates the data extracted from hunter success
cards for sportsmen hunting from an automobile e
Table No. Ill
Ruffed Grouse Hunter Success by Automobile, 1962.
No. of Total Total No. of Ruffed No. of Ruffed
Parties Hunters Car Miles Grouse Seen Grouse Shot
Sept. 15-16 21
Sept. 17-23 9
Sept. 24-30 5
Oct. 1-7 4
Oct. 8-14 4
Oct. 15-21 4
Oct. 22-28 2
Oct. 29-Nov. 2
- 48 -
In 1362, 7 of 25 parties (28.0%) used a dog while hunting
ruffed grouse on foot, compared with 5 out of 24 parties (20.8%) in
1961. In 1960, 6 of 27 (22.2%) utilized dogs. Evidently a fairly
unifom percentage of hunters used a dog each year in the Geraldton
A comparison of ruffed grouse hunter success for the years
1960 to 1962 inclusive is presented in Tables IV and V.
Ruffed Grouse Hunter Success on Foot
Man- Birds seen per Birds shot
hours 100 Man-hours per 100 Man-hours
124 84.2 60.1
70 75.7 35.7
109 27.5 16.5
Grouse Hunter Success by Automobile
Total Birds seen per Birds shot per
Car Miles 100 car miles 100 car miles
1348 6.6 5.7
990 7.9 4.1
254" 3.0 2.3
Previous to the 1962 hunting season, the value of recording
data on all grouse hunting excursions was impressed upon the selected
hunter group. The data collected from the selected hunter group for
1960 and 1961 indicated that only grouse hunters achieving some degree
of success each time they hunted would submit a hunter study card.
Very few returns were received in 1960 or 1961 indicating no birds
were shot. Thus it was felt that the success figures for these two
years were inflated, giving the impression that hunting was better
than it was actually believed to be.
The results of the 1962 hunter success study suggest that
the two previous years' success were in fact, high. Both successful
and non- successful hunters reported in 1962. Only one of 21 cards
received for the period September 15 to 16 from hunters hunting from
an automobile indicated killing any birds. Twenty of these cards
indicated that no birds were seen. Of the total of 51 study forms
received from automobile hunters, 31 indicated that the hunters had
not sighted any grouse. Data for hunters on foot showed that 12 of
25 parties had either not seen or shot a grouse.
- 49 -
As Tables IV and V indicate, the hunter success for 1962
appears to be significantly lower than in 1960 or 1961. Whether the
1962 figures portray the overall hunter success or only reflect an
increased return of cards by non- successful hunters ±i difficult to
ascertain. We believe that the 1962 figures nore nearly represent
the real hunter success than the figures for 1960 and 1961, because
of the greater number of returns received from non- successful
As has been the case in the two previous years, most of the
hunter study forms received were for the first two weeks of the open
season. Fifteen of 25 forms submitted from hunters on foot were for
the initial two weeks of the season (September 15-30). Thirty- five
of the 51 forms from hunters using automobiles were for the same
period. This would suggest that interest and hunting effort were
high initially. Because of poor success experienced with grouse
hunting, and because of the opening of the noose season on
October 1, interest in grouse hunting waned in October. Only 26 of
the total 76 study forms were completed for the period after October 7.
Reports of sighting more ruffed grouse during late October
and early November, in 1962, indicate that grouse are not as scarce
in the District as many hunters believed them to be. In the Nakina
division, one party sighted 14 ruffed grouse while road hunting by
auto on October 27. On November 3 in the same division, 23 ruffed
grouse were encountered by a single party. Grouse were reported to
be nost numerous by November along unused roads in mixed hardwood
and softwood timber stands.
It is doubtful if the hunter success data recorded prior to
leaf fall (October 15) are of much value as an index to grouse abund-
ance. For the first nonth of the grouse season, the majority of the
hunters are concentrated on the accessible roads. Few hunters venture
off the roads at this time, because the foliage on the trees obstructs
sightings of grouse and restricts movements of the hunters. Usually
the same roads are hunted, sometimes with several cars being on a road
at the sana time. Hunter success will undoubtedly decline as grouse
become nore wary.
After leaf fall, nore hunters are able to venture into
cutover areas on foot, reducing conpetition for birds along the roads.
Also, fewer hunters pursue grouse after October 15, which probably
assures increased hunter success, both on foot and by autonobile.
The extended grouse season, which ended on December 15, in
1962, did not appear to have had nuch effect on the total harvest
of the species. Few grouse hunters are in the field in December
- 50 -
because of the cold and snow depth at that tine. Of the hunters
afield in December, the majority are in search of noose. We are
in favour of the extended season, even though little increase in
harvest results. For the avid grouse hunter, it gives hin several
extra weeks to enjoy his favourite sport.
1. There is a definite need to establish a technique in counting
grouse broods each sunner. The present sampling method involves
only counting grouse broods during the course of other duties by
conservation officers, with no consideration as to effort (i.e.,
miles travelled and time involved), whether the officer was
searching for grouse, time of day, and weather conditions which
would likely influence brood presence on roads.
We believe that if the same reads were travelled each summer, and
if the mileage driven in search of grouse were recorded, a more
reliable index of grouse production could be achieved.
2. We suggest that conservation officers continue to collect grouse
hunter success data in the field. In this way, a better cross
sample of success would be recorded. At present we doubt that
even selected "good" hunters will voluntarily report all hunts on
the study forms, particularly if several unsuccessful hunts are
3. It is recommended that hunter success data be collected for spruce
grouse ( Ganachites canadensis ) also in future years. This species
is as popular as the ruffed grouse with many hunters. It consti-
tutes a substantial part of the annual grouse kill. The present
H-50 study form could be used, substituting "spruce" for "ruffed"
in the appropriate places.
4. The present grouse season (September 15 to December 15) is
satisfactory. While not increasing the total kill appreciably,
the extended season allows eager hunters to enjoy being in the
woods and to carry a gun if they desire, for a longer time.
Bump, Gardiner, Robert W. Darrow, Frank C. Edminster, Walter F.
Crissey, 1947. The Ruffed Grouse - Life History, Propagation and
Management. New York State Cons. Dept., Albany. 915 pp.
Gibson, B. H. Grouse in the Geraldton District, 1260. Resource
Management Report #5G, July, 1961.
Gibson, B. H. Grouse in the Geraldton District, 1561. Unpub. Rept.
Geraldton District Office files.
- 51 -
GROUSE HUNTING IN PARRY SOUND DISTRICT, 1962
C. A, Rettie
Gane bag census data collected during the 1962
grouse season (September 22 - December 15) showed
considerable improvement in hunter success over the
previous two years with a kill of 37.7 grouse per 100
man-hours spent in the field on foot. Hunters cruis-
ing the roads in automobiles accounted for 6.7 birds
per 100 miles of driving, which is less than during
the previous two years. A total of 419 specimens
of wings and/or tails of ruffed grouse showed the
ratio of adult females to juveniles to be 1:3.
Twenty- four birds were examined internally for posi~
tive sexing. Ten male birds thus examined had an
average central tail feather length of 6=5/16 inches
and the fourteen female birds had an average central
tail feather length of 5=1/2 inches.
Conservation officers on routine patrols and many individual
co-operators submitted data on 17G hunting trips involving 45 v 4
man-hours of hunting on foot and 1,878 miles of road hunting from
automobiles, plus 419 wings and/or tails for sex and age determina-
From this information the following tables have been
prepared for comparison with the records of previous grouse hunts.
Age and Sex of the Kill
Table V gives the results of the examination of the 419
specimens of wings and/or tails. The criteria described by
Hale et al (IS 54) was employed. While all information for each
tail fan examined was recorded (i.e. tail band pattern, length
of central feather shaft, shape of feather ends, markings on
central feather shaft and presence of blood quills), the length
of central shaft was most commonly used for sex determination.
The accuracy of this method for this District is gradually being
proven, I believe, through our yearly measurements of known
- 52 -
Grouse Hunting -- 1962
HUNTING ON FOOT
— — — - — — —
Sep 22 - 28
Sep 29 -
Nov 3- 30
HUNTING WITH DCGS
Man- Hour s
Note: These data are included in Table I
Although the information in Table II is very limited it
would seen to indicate that hunters using dogs fared
slightly worse than those without do^s.
- 53 -
HUNTING FROM AUTOMOBILES
Sep 22 - 28
Sep 29 =
TABLE III (a) HUNTING SUCCESS (FOOT AND AUTOMOBILE COMBINED) PER HOUR
Total Man -Hours
7C . 6
SIX YEAR RECORD OF HUNTER SUCCESS
Sample Size (Man- Hours)
Kill per 100 Hours
* Figures Do Not Include Automobile Hunting.
Those for other years do.
- 54 -
Fifty- six birds were recorded as having blood quills,
of which the last bird thus recorded was shot on October 25.
These birds were of necessity sexed by tail band pattern since
the feathers were still growing,, Where this was not possible
(9 specimens), as in the case of intermediate banding, the remain-
ing features of shape of feathers and central shaft markings were
used to establish the sex.
Of the remaining 363 specimens, 39 were classified as
having intermediate tail bands and therefore sexed solely
according to central tail feather length. The remaining 324
specimens were also sexed by central tail feather length but, in
this instance, measurement could be checked with tail band
features. Nine specimens or 2,3 per cent did not concur in both
tail band and measurement using the criteria fcr sexing Wisconsin
ruffed grouse as described by Hale et al. Seven of these nine
specimens or 2.2 per cent of the total were classified as male
birds, but measured as females. Some of these measurements were
closely approaching the upper limit of the female range and
while not being recorded as a blood quill could still possibly
have grown enough to ccme within the male range.
AGE AND SEX C7 THE RUFFED GROUSE KILL
Adult Males Juvenile
Females Juvenile Females
Un sexed Adults
Unaged Males 2
Total Specimens 419
Males to Females
Adults*'- to Juveniles* 117:300
Ad. Females to Jv i 36:300
. 1 adults
and 23 unsexed juveniles
- 55 -
TABLE V(a) SIX YEAR RECORD OF SEX AND AGE RATIOS
# Specimens Examined
Males to Females
Adult to Juvenile
Adult Female to
SEASONAL COMPARISON OF AGE RATIO
Birds Shot Sept 22 - Oct 13
(Before Leaf Fall)
Birds Shot Oct 14 - Dec 15
(After Leaf Fall)
Positively Sexed Birds
The twenty- four birds listed in the following Table
VII were sexed internally by our officers in the field. The
data on the length of the central tail feather of positively
sexed birds will be added to our collection so that an index
for determining accurately the sex of ruffed grouse by that
method in the Parry Sound District may be established.
It is interesting to note that only one bird (#320)
exceeded the limits as per the Wisconsin criteria. This bird,
having all the characteristics of a male, was sexed internally
as a female.
f - • (•■ i ;•'
TAIL FEATHER LENGTH OF RUFFED GROUSE OF
KNOWN SEX, 1962
Spec in en #
Aver a p
e Length o
f Tail F
(Range 6" -
/16" - 6-6/16'
Wings and tails from five spruce grouse were submitted
by hunters in 1962. One adult male was shot in Ferrie Township.
Two adult females, one juvenile female and one juvenile male were
shot in Hardy Township.
- 57 -
The kind co-operation of the individual sportsmen,
and conservation officers who submitted specimens and hunting
data, which made this report possible, is greatly appreciated.
Literature Cited :
1954 Hale, James B., R. F. Wendt, and G. C. Halazon.
Sex and Age Criteria for Wisconsin Ruffed Grouse,
Tech. Wildl. Bull. No. 9, Wisconsin Cons. Dept ,
1959 Rettie, C. A. Ruffed Grouse Hunting in the
Parry Sound District. Unpublished Report.
1960 Mac fie, J. A. Grouse Hunting in Parry Sound
District. Unpublished Report.
1961 Mac fie, J. A. Grouse Hunting in Parry Sound
District. Unpublished Report.
- 58 -
HUNTING METHODS EMPLOYED BY KUBLAI KHAN AS DESCRIBED BY MARCO POLO
Excerpts taken from "The Travels of Marco Polo" made
during the period 1271=1295 describe how hunting was
conducted during the times of the great Kublai Khan.
Marco Polo, a Venetian, travelled with his merchant father
and uncle to the far east in 1271 where he visited Kublai Khan, the
great Mongol ruler. He was later accepted at the Khan's court and
while in his service visited Persia, China, Tibet, Burma and India.
He returned to Venice in 1295 after an absence of about 25 years.
His experiences are recorded in "The Travels of Marco Polo".
The excerpts which follow describe hunting methods employed
during one of the Great Khan's hunting parties.
" Of Two Brothers Who Are Keepers Of The Khan's Hounds
His majesty has in his service two barons, brothers. They
have charge of the hounds, both fleet and slow, and of the mastiffs.
Each has ten men, those under one brother wearing a red uniform, and
those under the other, a blue, whenever they accompany the Khan to
The dogs of different kinds which accompany them are not
fewer than five thousand. One brother with his division advances
on the right hand of the emperor, and the other on the left; and
each advances in regular order until they have enclosed a tract to
the extent of a day's march. By this means no beast can escape them.
What a beautiful sight it is to see the maneuvers of the huntsmen
and the working of the dogs when the emperor is between them and
they are pursuing the stags, bears, and other animals in every
The two brothers are bound to furnish the court daily, from
the commencement of October to the end of March, with a thousand
pieces of game, quails being excepted, and also with as large a
quantity of fish as possible, estimating the fish that three men
can eat at a meal as one piece of game.
- 59 -
How the Great Khan Goes Hunting
When his majesty has made his usual stay in the city, and
leaves it in the month of March, he proceeds in a northeasterly
direction to within two days' journey of the ocean, attended by
full ten thousand falconers, who carry with them a vast number of
gerfalcons, peregrine falcons, and sakers, as well as many vultures,
for pursuing the game along the banks of the river. It must be
understood that he does not keep all these men together, but divides
them into several parties of one or two hundred or more, and they
follow the sport in various directions. The greater part of the
quarry is brought to his majesty.
On account of the narrowness of the passes in some parts
of the country where the Great Khan follows the chase, he is borne
upon only two elephants, or even one. Otherwise he makes use of
four, on the backs of which is placed a pavilion of wood, handsomely
carved, the inside lined with cloth of gold and the outside covered
with the skins of lions, a kind of conveyance made necessary by the
fact that he is troubled by gout.
In the pavilion he always carries with him twelve of his
best gerfalcons, with twelve favorite officers to keep him company
and amuse him. Those who are on horseback by his side give him
notice of the approach of cranes or other birds, whereupon he raises
the curtain of the pavilion and gives directions for letting Ely
the gerfalcons, which seize the cranes and overpower them after a
long struggle. V7atching this sport as he lies upon his couch gives
great pleasure to his majesty, as well as to the officers and
horsemen by whom he is surrounded. After having thus enjoyed the
amusement for some hours, he repairs to a place named Cachar Modun,
where are pitched the pavilions and tents of his sons and also of
the nobles, ladies, and falconers, the number of them exceeding
ten thousand and making a handsome appearance. The tent of his
majesty, in which he gives his audiences, is so long and wide that
under it ten thousand soldiers night be drawn up, with room for the
superior officers and other persons of rank. Its entrance faces the
south, and on the eastern side it has another tent connected with it,
forming a capacious reception hall.
It is strictly forbidden to every tradesman, mechanic,
or peasant throughout his majesty's dominions to keep a vulture,
hawk, or any other bird for the pursuit of game, or any sporting
dog. Nor may a nobleman or cavalier presume to chase beast or bird
in the neighborhood where his majesty takes up residence, the ban
being five miles, for example, on one side, ten on another, and
perhaps fifteen in a third direction, unless his name be on a list
kept by the grand falconer, or he has a special privilege to that
effect. Beyond those limits it is permitted. There is an order,
- 60 -
however, which prohibits every person throughout all countries
subject to the Great Khan from daring to kill hares, roebucks,
fallow deer, stags, or other aninals of that kind, or any large
birds, between the months of March and October. This is to insure
that they nay increase and multiply; and since any breach of this
order is punished, game of every description increases prodigiously."
- 61 •
PRESENT PR03LEMS IN COMMERCIAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT *
W. H. R. Werner
Supervisor, Commercial Fish Section
In order to manage a natural resource, people oust
be managed and this creates additional management
problems. Two main methods of control of a commer-
cial fishery are limitation of entry and limitation
of effort. Both these methods are briefly discussed.
Commercial fishery management problems discussed
are: Public relations quotas on inland lakes;
quota on lake trout and chub fishing in Lake Superior;
whitefish in Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario;
the change in the Lake Erie fishery and "dormant
Before considering the present specific problems of
commercial fisheries management, perhaps we should know what we
are managing, what are the aims of management and review briefly
methods generally used to facilitate management.
When we in Lands and Forests are asked what we are
managing, our immediate thought is that we are managing a natural
resource - fish in the present discussion. While this is quite
true we only need ask the question why are we managing fish, and
the answer immediately makes us aware that we are also concerned
with the management of people. We manage fish in order that the
species desired may be made available to people from year to year
on a sustained yield basis. But many of our tools of management
are those which limit the time in which fish may be taken, the
amount of fish or the method of taking fish by people. So we
enter the field of managing people in order to manage the fish in
order to make the fish available to people. In commercial
fisheries we find ourselves wandering still further into this
field of managing people as will appear later in discussing
Cur aims are laid down, of course, in the policy statement
Fish and Wildlife Circular 16-6 with which you are no doubt familiar.
The four principles stated in this circular are:
1. Sustained yield
2. Full use
3. Multiple land use
4. Public use
* Paper given at seminar for class taking the Resources Management
Course, Univ. of Toronto, Feb. S, 1963.
- 62 -
My reason for discussing some of the methods used in
management is that in many cases management problems are created
by the application of these methods. Two main methods of control
of the commercial fishery are used in Ontario. These are:
1. Limitation of entry into the fishery and
2. Limitation of effort.
Limitation of entry is usually difficult to achieve in
a democratic society since it is discriminatory. Yet it is recog-
nized by the economists as a desirable tool of fisheries management
from their standpoint. At the same time if we assume that limiting
of entry limits the total amount of fishing effort, some control on
a biological basis is achieved. In Ontario , limitation of entry
into the fishery, like Topsy, just "growed". It has the advantage
that the number of licences issued for a given body of water can be
controlled. In the Great Lakes, while we may assume that it is
being applied for biological reasons, I think its real impact is
economic. It is better to have 10 fishermen making a reasonable
living from the resource than 100 fishermen merely subsisting on it.
In the smaller lakes of northern Ontario where quotas are
being applied, limiting the number of licences (in many cases this
limit is one) permits:
(1) establishment of reasonable individual quotas
(2) good control of quotas, and
(3) orderly harvesting of the crop under quota.
Under the system of limited entry, however, problems are
created in issuing or, really, in refusing licences since it is
undemocratic. One problem is to decide what is the correct number
of licences to be issued for a body of water. This requires infor-
mation as to the stocks of fish in the water that may be exploited.
Since we do not have full information on this at present, we have
to guess at what level to prevent further entry into the fishery.
Refusal of a licence has political, social and economic implications
of course, and consequently s issuing licences on this basis creates
many more problems than if the licences were sold "over the counter".
Limitation of effort is achieved in many ways, such as:
Limiting of fishing area
Mesh- size restrictions
Full-size restrictions, and
- 63 -
While these methods are used in management to try to achieve
the aims previously stated, at the same time, the application of the
methods creates problems,,
Frequently, these limitations need to be used in combina-
tions of two or more of them. It should be pointed out that in gen-
eral they create less efficient and consequently, less economic
methods of harvesting the resource. Therefore, great care must be
used in applying them.
Now, let us take a look at our problems. Cne problem
we always have had and always will have is common to all govern-
ment departments and, in fact, to practically all enterprises and
that is public relations. I am not going to go into it deeply
because I know you are all aware of it. It seems of special import-
ance in commercial fisheries due to the antipathy of the sporting
public as represented by the anglers, tourists, and tourist out-
fitters towards the presence of commercial fishing gear in their
angling waters. As a government department we must listen to
both sides in this controversy and it often leads to some real
fence straddling. However, as more and more information comes from
our research scientists these problems are becoming progressively
less difficult to solve. What might be considered as a bi-product
of our public relations work, has been the establishment of what
we call "management licences" in many waters which have been for
many years reserved for angling. Through public relations efforts
we have been able to convince the anglers and tourist outfitters in
some areas that a crop of whitefish, for instance, can be removed
from a body of water without harm to the stocks of angler- sought
fish by restricting the commercial catch of the latter fish at some
low level such as 5 per cent of the total commercial catch. Thus,
a crop of whitefish which would otherwise be wasted can be utilized.
In northwestern Ontario we have the problem of quotas on
lakes, When originally applied in 1947 or 1948 a basis for setting
the size of the quota really did not exist - it was set by reference
to previous records of commercial catches and, in general, to lake
area. The reason for rushing into quotas at that time with such
little basic information was a public relations one - when criticism
was voiced that commercial fishing was being allowed in these lakes
which the anglers thought should be reserved for them we could
point out that it was a controlled fishery. Since then the Patricia
inventory study has gotten under way and as more and more informa-
tion on the fishing potential of these lakes is made available
our quota base is much firmer. Now, before new lakes are licenced
a minimal survey is carried out and from this a quota can be set.
As time permits, lakes presently fished will be surveyed also.
- 64 -
I would not give the impression that these surveys give absolute
firm data as to allowable catch, but at least it is a snail and
admittedly still rickety base to work from. As indicated pre-
viously the administration of the quotas, once they are set, is
relatively easy in this area since the number of licences per body
or area of water is very restricted.
Probably our greatest headache during the year has been
the imposition of a quota on lake trout in Lake Superior. Some of
the difficulty lies in the reason for establishing this quota. It
was not based on the allowable take of lake trout by commercial
fishermen but on the number of these fish required by the research
agent (FRB) of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to biologically
assess the situation in that lake with reference to the lamprey
and the lake trout. The Commission's request that only the fish
necessary for assessment be taken was made in December 1961. In
March 1962, at a meeting in Milwaukee the quotas were decided on.
In the case of the Canadian quota, it was not set at the amount
which FRB considered necessary (something in the order of 130,000
lbs) but on the basis of the 1961 catch (44,000 lbs.). This was
dc.e because it was thought that 44,000 lbs. could not be taken
let alone the 130,000 lbs. required. After allowing 4,000 lbs.
for angling the commercial quota was divided on the basis of the
:atch in 1961, allotting 11,000 lbs. to the fishermen in Port Arthur
Forestry District, 6,000 lbs. to Geraldton and 23,000 lbs. to the
3 and White River Districts combined. It was soon evident that
were going to exceed the quota and we were disturbed to find we
hz.£ re legal means of cutting off the lake trout fishing. By the
time we secured a regulation from Ottawa (mid-October) about 70,000
lbso had been taken. We now have regulations for 1963 which divide
the quota amongst the three districts but also split the quota in
each district into two seasons - January 1 to August 31 and
September 1 to December 31. This will insure that the FRB secures
data in the fall as well as the spring. The Minister has power
to vary the quota. In addition to this, our management has been
directed t^"*ard reducing the number of licences in Lake Superior
wherever this is possible.
Another problem on Lake Superior is the question of whether
or not we should permit our fishermen to f ish f cr chubs. With the
fishery at such a low economic level, fishing for chubs would be
of considerable value to the fishermen. On the other side of the
Iger is the possibility or probability that a rather large number
of sub-legal lake trout may be taken in this operation. FRB f s
Lon is that th'.s operation can be carried out without undue
ain m the lake trout population and that some sampling of the
legal trout would be desirable. This is a decision that manage-
must make on the basis of advice from research. So we live
dangerously. If the decision to allow chub fishing is made and it
- 65 -
has no detrimental effects on the lake trout, then all is fine. If
it is detrimental then not only is severe criticism to be expected
but also it is almost impossible to correct the situation by with-
drawing the permission to fish for chubs. Once an action is taken
permitting something that is of immediate economic advantage, no
matter how it is conditioned with safeguards for recalling it, the
actual recall is most difficult and often impossible.
In Georgian Bay we have the problem of no lake trout and
very, very few whitefish - the two species upon which the fishery
depends. In 1953 the highest catch of whitefish on record was made
and the three years preceding and succeeding this were excellent
whitefish years from the standpoint of the commercial fishermen.
The past three years, throughout the major part of the Bay, the
whitefish are extinct so far as the commercial fishermen are con-
cerned. We have no management answer to this problem nor does
research have sufficient information yet to suggest an answer so
far as I am aware. We only have the palliative measure of allowing
the licencees to hold their licences in abeyance during the period
- in other words, they retain their right of renewal without fee.
In lower Lake Huron and in Lake Ontario the whitefish
fishery is characterized by one good year-class of whitefish sup-
porting the fishery. With the failure of a few year-classes in suc-
cession the fishery collapses. How should one control it? The late
John Budd suggested we should require the use of a larger mesh gill
net in Lake Huron in order to reduce the cropping of two and-three-
year-old fish and allow more escapement for spawning stock.
However, the raising of the minimum mesh size is a most difficult
thing to achieve in practice. In Lake Cntario, the fishermen
themselves, on learning of the situation from Jack Christie in
1961 suggested closing off the spawning areas to commercial fishing
for a month in the fall. This was done on the basis of protecting
the fishing from exploitation at a time when they were highly
vulnerable rather than on the basis that they were spawning. This
past fall these spawning areas were declared sanctuary areas closed
to all fishing, angling or commercial, from November 15 to December
31. It is intended to follow this type of programme for a period
of five years to observe its effects.
In Lake Erie we have the problem of a changing lake, and
a change in the dominant species. Instead of whitefish and pickerel
we now have smelt and perch as the dominant commercial species.
This has created economic problems for the fishermen since the
perch and smelt do not sell at as good a price as whitefish and
pickerel and their presence in extremely large numbers tends to
depress the price even lower. Thus, we have the fishermen asking
us to reimpose a closed season in January and February (which they
had formerly petitioned us to open) with the idea that this will
ensure higher prices for perch in the spring. It would appear that
there is no biological reason for imposing this closure. It was
finally agreed to close down in January and February except that
trawling for smelt only is permitted. Since the catch of perch a
year ago in January and February only amounted to some 45,000 lbs.
out of a total catch of over 18,500,000 lbs., it is difficult to
see how it would influence perch prices in the spring.
Finally I might mention the problem of "dormant licences".
There is a tendency to renew licences once they are acquired even
though there is no intention of fishing them that year - in fact
often renewal is made in December of the licence year. The licence
is probably being held on speculation that:
(1) a very good and profitable fishery may suddenly appear
on the horizon, or
(2) somebody will come along and offer a fabulous price for
the small amount of gear owned by the licencee on con-
sideration of transfer of the licence.
It is obvious that, in an area where we feel no new
licences can be issued as mentioned earlier, these dormant
licences, since they have a fishing potential, occupy a space
that could be taken up by some person who really wants to fish.
We have countered this by establishing a practice of not renewing
licences that show no real fishing for a period of two years in